Supreme Court

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  • Created on: 11-05-14 09:15
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What is the membership of the Supreme Court?
· Scalia- Strict constructionist, nominated in 1986 by Reagan
· Thomas- Strict constructionist, nominated in 1991 by Bush
· Roberts- Strict constructionist, Chief Justice, nominated by
Bush Jr in 2005
· Kennedy- Strict constructionist, nominated in 1988 by
· Alito- Strict constructionist, nominated by 2006 by Bush Jr
· Ginsburg- Loose constructionist, nominated by Clinton in
· Kagan- Loose constructionist, nominated by Obama in 2010
· Sotomeyer- Loose constructionist, nominated by Obama in
· Breyer- Loose constructionist, nominated by Clinton in 1994
How are Supreme Court Justices nominated?
Supreme Court justices can be nominated from appeals courts,
such as Sotomeyer, state courts such as previous justice
O'Connor, the executive branch and academia, like Kagan. The
President nominates a member, then the Senate undergoes a vote
to decide on whether the nominee is correct for the Court,
investigating them and their backgrounds. They take a vote on
whether or not to confirm their appointment. This, in theory, is to
protect against the President being able to politically control the
Supreme Court. However, this has proven somewhat ineffective,
as the last nominee to be rejected was Robert Bork in 1987, over
worries about his right wing views.
How can one distinguish the different philosophies of Supreme
Court justices?
· Strict constructionist. This is a philosophy tied into closely
with Republicans. They like to stick closely to what the
Constitution says, literally interpreting it. Strict
constructionists also like the states to retain as much power
as possible, and follow closely the Founding Fathers' original
beliefs. Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Kennedy are all
strict constructionists-all appointed by Republicans.
· Loose constructionist. This is a philosophy tied into the
Democrats' philosophy. They are willing to interpret the

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Constitution more liberally, and likes to stress the power of
the federal government. They like looking at what Founding
Fathers would believe now, and looking at the context of the
constitution, to see if the values that were in mind still
apply. Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan and Sotomeyer are all loose
constructionists- and all appointed by Democrats.…read more

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Members are also appointed by
politicians- the President and senators, and are often appointed
politically- Democrat and Republican presidents are far more
likely to appoint Supreme Court nominees that share their views
then those who oppose them. Appointments can also be important
in presidential elections, for example in the 2000 election, the
Supreme Court deemed Florida's recount unconstitutional, which
effectively handed the presidency to Bush- ie, it determined the
outcome of an election.…read more

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Central Little Rock High School.…read more


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